'I'm OK with that' is not OK with me!

'I'm OK with that' is not OK with me!

I've done it again. I just looked at the Chicago Tribune sports section and got worried needlessly.

A headline today (Oct. 3) read "Cubs' Ross OK with Game 2 postponement." I admit it, I haven't followed the Cubs lately as much as I did during their World Series run, so I didn't know straightaway that Game 2 had been postponed in their most recent series.  I just read the headline and thought what fits. "Oh, I'm glad he's not hurt."

I thought "I'm OK with that" and similar "person OK with thing" expressions were just a passing fad. If they are, I wish they would pass more quickly and go away.

Whatever happened to the more logical "Is that OK with you?" -- "thing OK with person" -- for seeking or describing approval?

Maybe it started in restaurants: "Yes, my salad is OK with bleu cheese on it," or "Yes, I'm OK if we sit there." But even the second one is more logical as "It's OK," not "I'm OK." (Maybe "I'm OK if you stop the Heimlich Maneuver, already!")

The postponement in the headline example could not have expressed whether it was OK or not. Let's keep the expression going in the correct direction!  Even in the headline, "Game 2 postponement" fits just the same as the top deck (first line) of the headline as it did on the bottom, and using "Game 2 postponement OK with Cubs' Ross" actually leaves room for the word "is."

Grammar in headlines? No, that's another battle altogether.

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Filed under: Expressions


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  • I'm not sure if your complaint is about the implied verb (which often occurs), or you are not OK with OK

    Otherwise, Ross should not have been OK with the postponement, as the Cubs were eliminated on Friday. I don't know if it was a blessing or a curse* that the 9th inning was blocked by BREAKING NEWS on ABC.

    *Yom Kippur prayer.

  • OK is OK with me, Jack -- but note the direction there. Thing is OK with person. When I start out saying "I'm OK," I am referring to my state of health or mind. (I've got another bad tooth, so I'm not going to use it that way.) I get the impression in the direction of my example that Ross was OK because of the postponement, as if he got a rest and could go on. He is approving the postponement, so that's the direction to use for clarity's sake. We do remember clarity!

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